Optimal Inflatable Space Towers with 3 - 100 km Height
Theory and computations are provided for building inflatable space towers up to one hundred kilometers in height. These towers can be used for tourism, scientific observation of space, observation of the Earth's surface, weather and upper atmosphere, and for radio, television, and communication transmissions. These towers can also be used to launch space ships and Earth satellites. These projects are not expensive and do not require rockets. They require thin strong films composed from artificial fibers and fabricated by current industry. The towers can be built using present technology. The towers can be used (for tourism, communication, etc.) during the construction process and provide self-financing for further construction. The tower design does not require work at high altitudes; all construction can be done at the Earth's surface. The transport system for a tower consists of a small engine (used only for friction compensation) located at the Earth's surface. The tower is separated into sections and has special protection mechanisms in case of damage. Problems involving security, control, repair, and stability of the proposed towers are addressed in other publications. The author is prepared to discuss these and other problems with serious organizations desiring to research and develop these projects.
Book contributor NASA